Small form factor disk drive manufacturer Quantum Corp is adding 42Mb, 85Mb, 127Mb, 170Mb and 525Mb 3.5 removable drives to its Passport XL line and is offering new 42Mb, 85Mb, 127Mb and 240Mb Hardcard EZ 3.5 hard drive upgrades for personal computers. The removable drives are aimed at the growing numbers of personal computer users […]
Small form factor disk drive manufacturer Quantum Corp is adding 42Mb, 85Mb, 127Mb, 170Mb and 525Mb 3.5 removable drives to its Passport XL line and is offering new 42Mb, 85Mb, 127Mb and 240Mb Hardcard EZ 3.5 hard drive upgrades for personal computers. The removable drives are aimed at the growing numbers of personal computer users wanting to remove sensitive data physically from their systems for security. The hard drive on a board is for 80286 and 80386 users needing extra storage capacity. According to the Milpitas, California-based company, government agencies particularly the military – have driven the demand for secure data storage systems. Product offerings in this market broadly fall into two categories: cartridge-based systems for floppy or rigid disks; or removable Winchester drives such as Quantum’s Passport drives. Although they are the cheaper option, cartridge-based systems have a disadvantage in that the disk is separate from the read-write mechanism and so more susceptible to head-disk alignment problems and crashes. They are less durable, slower and are limited to around a 90Mb storage capacity. Quantum’s XL drives offer up to 525Mb, which is sufficient to store an operating system, application programs and data files. The 525Mb model is recommended for network servers and disk drive arrays. Based on Quantum’s standard ProDrive ELS and LPS hard drive families and enhanced with new, fast synchronous SCSI adaptors, the Passport XL series offers average data access times of 10mS and sustained transfer rates of 1.4M-bytes per second. The heads and media are sealed in a drive case that is loaded into an internal or external chassis like a video cassette. This avoids exposing data to the microscopic particles that can cause head crashes. The chassis have been designed to cope with the insertion and removal of Passport XL drives some 20,000 times – up to five times a day for 11 years. The drives can also withstand up to 150 Gs shock in non-operating mode. If a fault occurs during the two-year warranty period, Quantum will provide a replacement drive – with a new warranty. The drives are compatible with all major hardware and operating systems, offering internal and external installation kits for AT, Micro Channel and Macintosh systems running MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, OS/2, NetWare, Unix, Xenix and the Mac operating systems; an internal installation kit for the Mac Quadra 900 is also available.
Used as a boot device
They can be used as a boot device if another hard disk is installed, via a special boot switch; are hot pluggable, enabling drives to be inserted or removed without requiring the system to be shut down; feature semi-automated loading and unloading; can be linked to up to six additional SCSI devices; have a rechargeable battery; can be configured for use by specific people and have a write-protect switch to prevent accidental data erasure. All are upwards compatible with each other – and with the current Passport XL range. The 42Mb model costs ?315; the 85Mb is ?450; the 127Mb is ?630; the 170 is ?790 and the 525 is ?1,680. The installation kits are between ?400 for the Quadra 900 to ?790 for an external Micro Channel kit. The 42-107Mb are available now; evaluation units of the 525Mb model will be available in December with volume ships set for January, The internal Mac installation kit will be available in January and the fast SCSI adaptor in February. The new Hardcard EZ drives for MS-DOS, OS/2 and Windows, meanwhile, are aimed at home-based or small business users wishing to boost the capacity of their systems. The demand for upgrades stems from the growing popularity of graphics-based applications like Windows which demand more memory than many 40Mb-standard 20826 and 80386 machines offer. A recent International Data Corp survey has indicated that the upgrade market is destined to account for 20% of worldwide drive shipments by 1994. The Hardcard EZ design integrates a standard Quantum drive on an expansion board. The family offers up to 240Mb of storage and is guaranteed to be compatible w
ith all standard operating systems; windows environments, and standard drives including IDE, SCSI and MFM interfaces. A full refund will be given if the Hardcard proves impossible to be install; a two year warranty is also supplied. Installation is quick and simple. The board has to be inserted into an expansion slot and run using its automatic software – a process that takes 10 minutes. A 42Mb board is ?155; an 85Mb is ?220; a 127Mb is ?265; and 240Mb is ?430 – prices that compare favourably with those of conventional high-performance drives. All are available now.